Extraterrestrials in fiction

Extraterrestrials In Fiction

Extraterrestrials in fiction

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In popular cultures, "extraterrestrials" are life forms — especially intelligent life forms— that are of extraterrestrial origin (often also called "aliens").

Historical ideas

Pre-modern

Cosmic pluralism, the assumption that there are many inhabited worlds beyond the human sphere predates modernity and the development of the heliocentric model and is common in mythologies worldwide. The 1st century writer of satires Lucian in his True History claims to have visited the moon when his ship was sent up by a fountain, which was peopled and at war with the people of the Sun over colonisation of the Morning Star. Other worlds are depicted in such early works as the 10th-century Japanese narrative, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, and the medieval Arabic The Adventures of Bulukiya (from the One Thousand and One Nights).

Early modern

The assumption of extraterrestrial life in the narrow sense (as opposed to generic cosmic pluralism) becomes possible with the development of the heliocentric understanding of the solar system, and later the understanding of interstellar space, during the Early Modern period, and the topic was popular in the literature of the 17th and 18th century.

The didactic poet Henry More took up the classical theme of Cosmic pluralism of the Greek Democritus in "Democritus Platonissans, or an Essay Upon the Infinity of Worlds" (1647). With the new relative viewpoint...
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